WACO, Texas - When Baylor's offense is clicking and hitting on all cylinders, it's just hard to stop.
And in Friday's 90-minute scrimmage on the turf at Floyd Casey Stadium, it didn't matter whether Robert Griffin III, Nick Florence or Bryce Petty was out there at quarterback.
"We were just clicking on offense, every group, ones, twos and threes," said RG3, a junior from Copperas Cove, Texas, who was a near-perfect 19-of-21 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. "You walk away with a good feeling. We were definitely on from the beginning. The (No. 2 offense) put up a touchdown right away, and then (the No. 1 offense) put up a touchdown, and it just seemed to keep going from there."
While the No. 1 defense pitched a shutout in last Saturday's "Meet the Bears" scrimmage and gave up just five total first downs in five series, the second-team offense scored on two of its first three series on Friday.
Florence engineered a 12-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by a 30-yard TD pass to Levi Norwood. And then sophomore running back Glasco Martin sprinted 28 yards for a touchdown to finish off an eight-play, 65-yard march against the No. 1 defense.
Both of those drives were aided by offside penalties against the defense.
"That's just anxiety," head coach Art Briles said. "That's something we've got to understand is when you come out of the tunnel, you've got to be under control. You've got to have composed aggression. It was good for us to get in this atmosphere where we're turning it up a little bit. And those guys will remember what happened today, and they'll be fine on (Sept. 2 for the season opener against TCU)."
Griffin III said first-year defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will "get on those defensive guys."
"I think they had a lot of busted assignments today," RG3 said. "We can't have that when the season starts, and (Bennett) will make sure that doesn't happen."
The three quarterbacks were about as efficient as you can possibly be, finishing with an 84.8 completion percentage (39-of-46) and throwing for 460 yards and four TDs. Florence was 9-of-12 for 79 yards and one touchdown, while Petty was 11-of-13 for 104 yards.
Showing off their big-play capability, the Bears scored on five plays of at least 21 yards. Other than the two scores by the second-team offense, Griffin III completed TD passes of 60 yards to Lanear Sampson, 38 yards to Terrance Williams and 21 yards to Kendall Wright.
"We hit a few and didn't connect on a few. And that's kind of what you expect this time of the year," Briles said. "That's something we want to do is come out and throw deep a little bit to try to get the deep ball down, which always takes a little bit of timing. But we've got to be able to run the ball offensively and we've got to be able to stop the ball defensively. That's what it comes down to at the end of the game: If you win up front, you're going to win the football game."
On what's been a tight battle for the starting job at running back, Briles said 6-foot, 240-pound senior Terrance Ganaway now has a leg up. Ganaway rushed for 21 yards on four carries and Salubi just eight yards on five totes. Martin and freshman B.J. Allen led the way with 50 and 65 yards, respectively.
"Ganaway has really done well the last three or four practices and had a good scrimmage today," Briles said. "He's a guy that has kind of taken (the job) in his range and has done a really good job with it. So I'm pleased with where he is. He's a big guy that's got light feet that can be a tough player. What we've got to do is match his mentality with his physicality."
Senior middle linebacker Elliot Coffey led the defense in tackles with six, while defensive end Tevin Elliot and tackle Donald Bryant each had a sack.
After averaging 45 yards on three kicks in last Saturday's scrimmage, freshman punter Spencer Roth had a 50.4-yard average on five punts on Friday and hit two 50-yarders into the wind.
"He's just good at what he does," Briles said of Roth. "That's why we recruited him and that's why we gave him a scholarship, because not many freshmen get scholarships at that position... We're really pleased with how he's come around."
The Bears will take two of the next three days off and begin game preparation for TCU on Tuesday. Baylor faces the Rose Bowl champion Horned Frogs in a nationally televised season opener (ESPN) on Sept. 2 in a game that will kick off at 7 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium.
|| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Norwood 30 pass from Florence (Jones PAT)
Wright 21 pass from Griffin III (Jones PAT)
Martin 28 run (Jones PAT)
Sampson 60 pass from Griffin III (Jones PAT)
T. Williams 38 pass from Griffin III (Jones PAT)
Jones 31 FG
Robert Griffin III 19-21-277-3-0; Nick Florence 9-12-79-1-0; Bryce Petty 11-13-104-0-0.
Allen 8-65; Martin 6-50 TD; Ganaway 4-21; Griffin III 5-17; Salubi 5-8; Florence 4-8; I. Williams 3-7; TEAM 1-(-10); Petty 8-(-14).
Kendall Wright 6-63 TD; Lanear Sampson 5-86 TD; Darius Jones 5-69; Travis McClain 3-27; Tevin Reese 3-18; Clay Fuller 3-18; Jay Lee 3-17; Terrance Williams 2-60 TD; Jordan Najvar 2-9; Jeff LePak 2-1; Terrance Ganaway 1-43; Levi Norwood 1-30 TD; Rhett Butler 1-10; Bryan Swindoll 1-8; Jerod Monk 1-1.
Elliot Coffey 6; T.C. Robinson 5; Brody Trahan 5; Rodney Chadwick 4; Bryce Hager 4; Mike Hicks 4; Collin Brence 3; Chance Casey 3; Kolby Gray 3; Terrance Lloyd 3; LeQuince McCall 3; Keller Reese 3; Joe Williams 3; Ahmad Dixon 2; Tevin Elliot 2 (one sack); Jemarcus Johnson 2; Gary Mason Jr. 2; Matt Ritchey 2; Tracy Robertson 2; Tyler Stephenson 2; Anthony Webb 2; Josh Wilson 2; Donald Bryant 1 (sack); Trevor Clemons-Valdez 1; Devante Davis 1; Kendrick Dial 1; Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 1; Kaeron Johnson-1; Nick Johnson 1; Dominique Jones 1; Robert Singletary 1.
Donald Bryant 1; Tevin Elliot 1.
Spencer Roth 5-50.4.
Jones 1/3 (missed 50, 31), made 31.
|| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
On the scrimmage:
"I liked the energy. After being in so many practices in a limited amount of days, it's still good to see guys having fun playing the game and trying to get better. That's our goal and that's our mission. Every day we come on the field, we better find a way to get "better, because if we're not, then we're losing ground.
"Our guys have kind of risen up, and they've come out here and challenged themselves, challenged each other, and we're having some guys that are playing with a little bit of inspiration."
On the number of big plays:
"We hit a few and didn't connect on a few. And that's kind of what you expect this time of the year. That's something we want to do is come out and throw deep a little bit to try to get the deep ball down, which always takes a little bit of timing. But we've got to be able to run the ball offensively and we've got to be able to stop the ball defensively. That's what it comes down to at the end of the game: If you win up front, you're going to win the football game."
On the battle at running back:
"All those guys are good. (Terrance) Ganaway has really done well the last three or four practices and had a good scrimmage today. He's a guy that has kind of taken it in his range, and has done a really good job with it. So I'm pleased with where he is. He's a big guy that's got light feet that can be a tough player. What we've got to do is match his mentality with his physicality."
On continuing to get a good push from the defensive line:
"They're doing a good job. Those guys have got to stay fresh, they've got to stay hungry and they've got to stay eager, and they've got to understand what down it is and what the situation is on the other side of the ball. They're going to make plays. We've got some guys in there with some experience, so those guys are going to make plays for us."
On the performance of freshman punter Spencer Roth:
"He's good. He's just a good player. He's just good at what he does. That's why we recruited him, and that's why we gave him a scholarship, because not many freshmen get scholarships at the punting position. And the guy's good. He's a good punter. And we're really pleased with how he's come around."
On the performance of junior quarterback Robert Griffin III:
"I thought he was sharp today, I thought he was really sharp. I thought he did a good job of handling the offense, getting guys set, executing the plays. And that's where he should be. That's where he should be at this time of the year."
On the scrimmage:
"We were just clicking on offense, every group , ones, twos and threes. You walk away with a good feeling. I think that's why coach cut it a little short for the offensive guys. The offensive line did a great job not only run-blocking but pass protecting."
On the offense having the upper hand in Friday's scrimmage:
"We were definitely on from the beginning. The (No. 2 offense) put up a touchdown right away. (The No. 1 offense) put up a touchdown, and it just seemed to keep going on from there. (Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett) will get on those defensive guys. I think they had a lot of busted assignments today. We can't have that when the season starts, and he will make sure that doesn't happen."
On the big-play ability of the offense:
"We're a big-play offense. The thing we've been working on is making sure we can put together those drives as well. That way when you get to a 13-, 14-play drive, you're not tired and your guys can get that last oomph to get into the end zone. We're doing a good job of scoring fast, but also coming back out and putting together those long drives."
On the running backs:
"They're all contributing a lot. (Terrance) Ganaway's obviously the bigger of the four or five, and he's doing a good job running - not only with the weight he has, but he's also showing a lot of versatility with his speed and his moves. He knows when to hit it up in there and he knows when to juke and jive. So that's probably why he's taken the lead in there, but (Jared) Salubi and the rest of those guys are going to be fine."
On being ready to play the Sept. 2 season opener against TCU:
"I try not to get too hyped up. If I come out and I'm livid and I'm overthrowing guys by 90 yards, that's not a good thing. So we'll try and keep it calm."